Hours after the Centre sought a report from the West Bengal government in attack on BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday ordered a probe into the incident while she also insinuated that it was staged by the saffron party. Banerjee alleged that the BJP is holding rallies with arms every day and its workers are attacking fellow activists while blaming it on the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The chief minister also took potshots at the senior leadership of BJP and central ministers over their frequent visits to West Bengal ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls. “They (BJP) have no other work. Some times the home minister is here, other times its Chaddha, Nadda, Fadda, Bhaddha — all are here. When they’ve no audience, they call their workers for doing nautanki (drama)," she said.
The TMC supremo said that the BJP has a “prepared script" to divert the attention of people, break the movements against it and is trying to do so with the ongoing farmers’ movement too. “The Narendra Modi government is not abiding by the principles of democracy or the federal structure or the Constitution and is encroaching upon the jurisdiction of a state government," she said.
#WATCH They (BJP) has no other work. At times Home Minister is here, other times its Chaddha, Nadda, Fadda, Bhaddha is here. When they've no audience, they call their workers for doing Nautanki: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addressing a public rally in Kolkata pic.twitter.com/uXrIyhdrj2— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2020
Banerjee’s reaction came after a convoy of BJP leaders including Nadda, Mukul Roy, Dilip Ghosh, Kailash Vijayvargiya was attacked with stones, bricks and glass bottles at Sirakol area in South 24-Parganas district on Thursday.
A number of cars, including that of Vijayvargiya and Dilip Ghosh, were damaged in the attack. Since Nadda’s vehicle was bullet proof, he didn’t suffer any injuries and later all the leaders reached the public rally venue amid tight security. “TMC goons attacked our convoys. I have received injuries on my right hand. People will give a befitting reply to TMC," Vijayvargiya said.
Addressing a public rally against the new farm laws at Esplanade in Kolkata, the chief minister said, “Shooting videos from their mobiles during attack while sitting inside their (BJP leaders) vehicles? What timing! It seems like they were aware about the attack. Was it again a planned move, the way they broke the statue of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar to defame us. We will expose their conspiracy to malign us and Bengal soon."
She further said, “To clear the air I have ordered an inquiry to find the truth. I will not tolerate BJP’s misleading campaign against us. Enough is enough."
Calling the BJP an “outsider", the TMC supremo said, “Just imagine the level of knowledge of this outsider party. One of their leaders claimed that Rabindra Nath Tagore was born in Viswa Bharati. This is highly objectionable and I would like to request the civil society and the intellectuals to protest against this with placards. BJP doesn’t know anything about Bengal."
“Now they are dreaming of capturing our Bengal. Everyday leader from other states are coming to Bengal to spread misinformation. If they are not working for their own people in their respective States and spending more time in Bengal, just imagine what they will do if you trust them,” she said.
While challenging all the BJP leaders, she said, “Bring your entire saffron brigade here, I am alone capable of fighting you in the political battlefields of Bengal because people here believe in TMC. They believe in ‘Ma’, ‘Mati’, ‘Manus’ government."
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Banerjee said, “They are following the footsteps of Mussolini and Hitler and trying to create a new Hindu dharma. We all follow the Hindu principles and ideology of Swami Vivekananda and Ram Krishna Paramhansa. But BJP along with the RSS are trying to create a dangerous Hinduism trend in India. This is not only dangerous for our democracy but also devastated for our country."
“It is unfortunate that Narendra Modi is not following the federal structure of India. He is not following the preamble of the Constitution and democratic fabric of our country. Every day he is forcibly passing a new bill, like the farm bills, in the Parliament and adamantly running the country without consulting the states."
Demanding withdrawal of the contentious agri laws by the Centre, Banerjee said that the legislations will hurt the interests of farmers and result in disastrous effect on prices of food items. Claiming that the rights of the farmers have been taken away by the new farm laws, Banerjee said that their produce will be “bought by force" by corporates and people will have to buy food items at high prices.
“People must unite for protection of the interests of farmers," she said at the rally held in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue here. Potatoes, onions and edible oil must remain within the ambit of the Essential Commodities Act so that prices of these food items can be regulated for the benefit of the common man, the chief minister said.
Describing the laying of the foundation stone for a new Parliament building by the prime minister on Thursday as a “stunt", she said that the money allotted for this could have been given to farmers for their benefit. “The present Sansad Bhavan can suffice for now," she added.
Alleging that the BJP is bringing strongmen from outside and sending them to West Bengal villages, she asked her party members to challenge them and file FIRs at local police stations when they come across any such persons.
Banerjee claimed that Kolkata is the safest city in the country as she said, “Bengal is such a nice place and they (BJP) are indulging in false claims against it." The chief minister said that political murders from May 2001 to May 2011 in the state during the Left Front rule numbered 663, while from June 2011 to June 2019, the number stood at 153.
With PTI inputs